I've got my judgment – what do I do to get my money?
 
If a court has decided that someone must pay you an amount of money you may have already realised that it’s not an automatic process to get a cheque from the court.

Instead the court leaves it to the judgment creditor and those advising him or her to take the next step. Of course it may be that you can negotiate with the judgment debtor to pay you, because having a judgment against a person or business, does put you as the judgment creditor in a stronger position. You can use the fact that if payment is made within one month of the date of the judgment, then the judgment will not be recorded against the judgment debtor for a full six years (even if they subsequently pay) which means you get your money and they keep their credit score nice and clean. For some judgment debtors this is an important and you can use this as leverage to encourage payment. For more information about this visit www.trustonline.org.uk.

But in thousands of cases many judgment debtors are not persuaded to pay and won’t pay until the judgment creditor actually begins another court application to compel payment. This is called “enforcement”.

If you are at this stage, or if you are advising people with judgments on how to compel payment part of our website outlines the options.

If you are an advisor for someone with a judgment debt you may also want to check out the leading text on the subject of enforcement written by Shergroup Legal’s Director, Claire Sand brook’s entitled perhaps unsurprisingly, “Enforcement of a Judgment” which is published by Sweet & Maxwell and can be purchased by clicking this link. You may be interested to know that all the royalties from Claire’s books go to the charity she set up to help people affected by enforcement action – visit www.sherbetfoundation.com.

So in simple terms you can enforce your judgment by asking the court for any of the following:
  • a High Court Writ of Fi Fa (which means instructing High Court Enforcement Officers to collect payment or sell the debtor’s goods at auction);
  • a County Court warrant of execution (which means instructing county court bailiffs to collect payment or sell the debtor’s goods at auction);
  • an Attachment of Earnings Order (which means the court orders deductions are made automatically from the judgment debtor’s salary);
  • a Third Party Debt Order (which freezes money in the judgment debtor’s bank account); or
  • a Charging Order (which secures your judgment debt against property owned by the judgment debtor – and works in the same sort of way to a mortgage so that when the property is sold you get paid – provided there is enough money of course!)
With these options in mind we can help you decide on the most appropriate method or methods to choose to compel your judgment debtor to pay you. It’s all about turning your judgment into cash from this point on.

Just keep in mind that there is no automatic right to get your money back from the court. Enforcing a judgment is still a gamble.

At Shergroup Legal we look to improve those odds by using a combination of information about your debtor, together with our years of experience in dealing with enforcement.

We will ask you to make an investment in a court fee and a fixed price management fee for our time in helping you. These fees are payable regardless of whether you end up getting paid.

To take your next step you have the following options: If you know what you need please click on one of the specific enforcement choices below: Don’t see what you need?

Just call us on

+44 (0) 845 890 9200

and we will soon have you on the right track!